Koh Kong Island

1 Mar

We said goodbye to first Ben and then Andy in Sihanoukville which was sad – we may see Ben again along the way but Andy has gone back to England and reality unfortunately. We were going to commiserate with this

but a £1.50 bottle of white spirit seemed like quite a quick way to end our holiday!

We also went to Geordie’s bar to find out how Namnam got on at the vet’s – a clean bill of health! His shoulder is healing and doesn’t need surgery, his fur is growing back and he doesn’t need his antibiotics anymore and he just has vitamins to take now to make sure he continues to improve. We went to see him and he was all waggy and licky when he saw us…made it doubly hard to leave him again but at least we know he’s being looked after well.

We decided that we should really think about making a move so as not to turn into full-time sloths, so we got on the bus to Koh Kong which is on the way to Siem Reap, our last destination in Cambodia before going into Thailand. The bus ride went very smoothly for a change (so much so, I finished In to the Wild from cover-to-cover, despite it being a deeply irritating book)…a fact we felt rather awful about acknowledging when we got here as we found out that that day, a Russian woman had died and 40 other passengers were injured on the exact same route when their bus’s tyre blew. They must have been just a bus or two behind us.

We found a nice place to stay (well, the owner and the communal area are nice)

for $4 a night. I hope the rat I saw in here last night is not extra. We booked with the owner, Paddy, to go to Koh Kong Island on a day trip because no one is allowed to stay overnight there anymore as it is military-run. As we were starving having just got off the bus, we asked Paddy if he did food. He said his pub did down the road but rather than us go there, he could ask them to bring it…it arrived on a tray on the back of a motorbike!

The next morning five of us got in his tuk-tuk and went off to the port to get on the boat. I had seen the tuk-tuk parked on the other side of the road the day before and thought “I feel sorry for whoever has to get in that”…that would be us then. Dusty, decrepit and very old but it got us there with no problems thankfully :)

The guys on the boat showed Craig that actually, all you need to fish is a bit of twine, a hook, a weight and a plastic bottle

Hat friennnnnnnnnnnds

The journey was longer than we expected but the island was lovely when we got there. Really soft powdery sand that squeaked when you walked on it

It is the largest island in Cambodia and is covered in forest. There are freshwater lagoons leading into the sea, and lots of little fish gather in between the rocks. We went snorkelling (well, after a while – Craig went the other day and got scared because of the sea urchins – so he took some encouraging!) and saw little neons tetras, angel fishes and lots of other colourful species. Including sea urchins…they are very scary-looking things. We talked to a Cambodian the other day who said his friend stepped on one and was “sleeping at the hospital for more than two weeks”. Eeep. Craig kept telling me to watch out for them whilst I was underwater…”watch out for the…” but I couldn’t hear him so I resurfaced in a bit of a panic and cut my ankle on a rock. D’oh. And then cut my foot on another rock when I ran to go and see what fry were

…tiny, tiny little fish in a group. Totally not worth the blood!

The guides cooked us lunch – steamed fish, prawns and vegetables with a garlic, lime, peanut and chilli sauce and rice. Delicious. The chickens thought the scraps were too

and then it was back towards the mainland…when we saw a dolphin. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a wild dolphin before so although it was brief, it was great. Cambodia is home to rare Showaddywaddy (fine, Irrawaddy) dolphins but although we’d been to places they are usually spotted before, we hadn’t actually seen one. Yay.

 On our way back we went through the Peam Krasop mangrove forest as the sun set

Apparently there are boardwalks within the forest – you can walk over 1km into the mangroves – so I think that’s our plan for today, along with hiring yet another bike and going to see the waterfall 20km from here.

And on the subject of plans…I discovered yesterday that we could fly for £85 return from Bangkok to Sri Lanka. Think we’ve found our next stop :)


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